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Response to Release of Information by Scottish Information Commisioner

Issued: 2 Feb 2007

Statement from Northern Constabulary Chief Constable Ian Latimer in response to release of information by the Scottish Information Commissioner

Almost a decade ago Kevin McLeod tragically died following a night out in Wick.

This was indeed a heartbreaking loss for the family, however, numerous investigations including a Fatal Accident Inquiry (1998) concluded that Kevin's death was a tragic accident.

In the intervening years, recommendations made by Mr Andrew Cameron in his report, which is being released today, have been implemented.

It is unfortunate however, that the report is not able to be released in its entirety as some of the information has been redacted to take account of data protection requirements and part of the content is now lost.

It is the opinion of Northern Constabulary that the investigation by Mr Cameron in 2003 drew to a close outstanding issues of the criticisms made by Mr and Mrs McLeod into the handling of complaints made by them over a number of years.

It is therefore our position that all complaints made by the McLeod family were rigorously and independently investigated some years ago.

The allegations made in the report were not tested in a Misconduct Hearing and as Chief Constable I cannot make comment on behalf of officers who are no longer serving in this Force and who retired some years ago.

Both myself and the Area Procurator Fiscal, Mr Andrew Laing, remain satisfied that this report does not reveal any issue which has not already been addressed or alter my firm view that there are no credible outstanding lines of enquiry, nor is there any evidence to substantiate any allegation of criminality in the tragic death of Kevin McLeod in February 1997.

The report clearly states that my officers have been subject to a series of allegations, which have been shown to have no basis in fact, and, on examination, do not have any credibility.

I reiterate once again that there has never been any conspiracy or cover up in relation to the death of Kevin McLeod.

Every allegation with regard to any issues surrounding the investigations into the death of Kevin McLeod or the investigation of the complaints made by the family have been rigorously probed. Each aspect of the investigation into the death has been considered and endorsed by the Crown and scrutinised by the independent Procurator Fiscal.

Additionally, every complaint made by the family has now been subject to independent investigation and is concluded.

I acknowledge that some of the complaints made against my officers could have been handled in a more professional manner, however, some 10 years on, lessons have been learned and changes have been made in the way complaints are dealt with by all Forces.

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